As results day draws nearer, the panic about what if you have not done as well as you had hoped start to build. Should this happen, what do you do next?
Every year tens of thousands of students find a place at a UK university through UCAS Clearing, so you are not alone. However, this can be a daunting and time-pressured process. So, whether you expect to go through Clearing or not, it is best to be fully prepared to make it as stress-free as possible.
In this blog, we look at how you can confidently make a Clearing call, make a good impression and importantly secure a place at the best university for you.
You must call
The number one point about making a Clearing call is that it must be you that calls. The university wants to speak to you directly, not your parents or teacher. So be brave, prepare and get ready to make a great impression.
It could be an interview
Whilst the call could be simply confirming your grades and checking availability, it is more likely that you will be asked some questions to test your suitability. Therefore, it is important that you prepare for what could be an informal interview.
Do your research
In advance of the call make sure you do some research about the course and university. The person on the other end of the phone wants to see that you’ve done your homework and are serious about applying. Look up what modules are offered, what common career routes are after graduating and other key factors that interest you about the course.
You will likely be asked ‘Why do you want to study this course?’ so make sure you know! Have some notes prepared on why this course and university appeals to you. Also, have some questions ready for them, the call it is just as much figuring out if you want to study there.
It can be easy to rush and immediately call the university after receiving your grades. But taking your time to prepare and conduct a bit of research in advance will really help you sell yourself when you’re on the call.
Before making any call, have a run through of the common questions you will be asked and practice to ensure you sound natural. Gabbitas advisers can be on hand on results day to help you with this and conduct a mock Clearing interview to ensure you are prepared before making the call.
Before the call
Before picking up the phone, make sure you find a quiet room, your phone is fully charged and make sure you have the following at hand:
- Your UCAS Personal ID and Clearing number – this will be the first thing they ask for
- The codes of the courses you’re interested in
- Your grades including GCSEs
- A copy of your personal statement (having re-read this in advance!)
- Notepad and pen to make notes
- A positive attitude!
During the call
Remember, the phone lines at universities during clearing can be busy so don’t panic if you’re on hold for a while. However, if you can’t get through, don’t dwell and move on to the next university on your list.
Make sure you ask the name and phone number of the person you are speaking to – in case you need to call them back.
Be confident, honest and sell yourself. Remember, the person on the other end wants to help you so take your time and go through the reasons why you would be a great fit for the university and course.
If you are offered a place, ask about how long the offer is guaranteed and what happens next.
After the call
When you have received your verbal offer, you will most likely also receive this in an email. Once you’ve made sure that you want to go to that university, then head to UCAS Track to update your place. Next you will need to make sure to sort out your accommodation and update your Student Loan. After that, it is time to get excited! Start researching the city, things to do, public transport etc.
Remember, this process it is just as much about finding out whether the course and university it is a good fit for you. Be positive, proactive and get ready to sell yourself. Remember thousands of students go through this process every year and find a spot at a fantastic university.
Gabbitas advisers are here to support you every step of the way through Clearing.
Contact us today to see how we can help leading up to results day.